Substitute Daniel McBreen's superb header gave Falkirk a share of the spoils to further dent Rangers' hopes of retaining the Scottish title.
Craig Ireland's tug on the shirt of Thomas Buffel had given Nacho Novo the chance for the opener and the Spaniard slotted home the penalty kick.
Falkirk goalkeeper Matt Glennon denied a lethargic Rangers several times.
And McBreen rose to head home an Alan Gow cross before Glennon saved superbly late on from Barry Ferguson.
Fit-again Hamed Namouchi had been a surprise name in the Rangers starting line-up along with the returning Sotirios Kyrgiakos.
New signing Francis Jeffers was on the bench along with Marvin Andrews after the defender's late return from international duty.
Falkirk were without Andrews' Trinidad and Tobago team-mate Russell Latapy, while former Rangers youth Darryl Duffy was only deemed fit enough for the bench.
But fellow forward Alan Gow put Rangers under early pressure, being denied by goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus from a free-kick.
Thomas Buffel should have put Rangers ahead but fired across the face of goal and wide of the target.
Gow surged into the Rangers box only for Waterreus to save at the former Airdrie forward's feet.
Rangers went ahead when the referee ruled that Buffel had been held back by Ireland and Novo slotting low past goalkeeper Matt Glennon.
Jeffers was given his first taste of Scottish football, replacing Buffel after the break and Glennon was quickly forced into a fine save and parry from the striker's shot.
Falkirk boss John Hughes sent on McBreen and Duffy and his brave attempt to salvage the game paid off with 12 minutes remaining.
Steven Thomson's quick free-quick was met by Gow, who delivered an inch-perfect cross to the head of McBreen and the young striker left Waterreus with no chance from close range.
Rangers skipper Ferguson could have snatched the winner with a point-bank strike but was denied by a wonderful save from Glennon.
Falkirk: Glennon, Lawrie, Ireland, Rodrigues, Lima, Ross (McPherson 33), Scally, Milne (Duffy 71), Steven Thomson, O'Donnell (McBreen 71), Gow.
Subs Not Used: Hill, Andy Thomson, McStay, Moutinho.
Booked: McPherson, Scally.
Goal: McBreen 78.
Rangers: Waterreus, Pierre-Fanfan, Rodriguez, Kyrgiakos, Ricksen, Namouchi (Lovenkrands 82), Ferguson, Murray, Novo, Buffel (Jeffers 56), Prso.
Subs Not Used: Klos, Andrews, Alex Rae, Smith, McCormack.
Booked: Ricksen, Ferguson.
Goal: Novo 39 pen.
Ref: C MacKay